An extraordinary series of 278 bound volumes

Members of the St Andrews Book group have been coming back and forth to Dublin for the best part of twenty years, drawn in each case by the fabulous riches of the Fagel collection. At first we worked exclusively on French materials. Most recently the extension of our on-line resource, the Universal Short Title Catalogue, into the seventeenth century, has inspired an effort to catalogue every one of the Dutch pamphlets in the collection.

These pamphlets survive in an extraordinary series of 278 bound volumes. They made up just two lots in the intended London sale, but they actually contain close to 6,000 precious, fascinating books. By November 2016 we will have examined and catalogued every one, revealing a mass of unknown editions, in a collection that offers comprehensive coverage of the political and religious turbulence of the Dutch Revolt and seventeenth-century Dutch Republic.

Since 2014 this work has been in the hands of the two Dutch specialists in the St Andrews group, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen, who have now worked with most of the major collections of Dutch pamphlets worldwide. There is no doubt that Fagel has bestowed on Dublin the greatest, most coherent collection of Dutch pamphlets anywhere outside the Low Countries. The unconsidered gems, many the only surviving copy of a rare pamphlet or broadsheet, are previewed in the accompanying digital images. For Arthur der Weduwen an undoubted highlight was the discovery of several issues of an unknown Brussels news serial, the Nouvelles Neutrelles, a discovery that has allowed him to demonstrate that there was a newspaper in Brussels thirty years earlier than previously thought: indeed, in the very first years of the press in the Low Countries. Such priceless nuggets illuminate a collection that casts telling new light on the process and priorities of government of Europe’s most dynamic new state, the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic.

Andrew and Arthur
Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen